LONDON — Village Roadshow Cinemas Intl. is launching its own U.K. circuit independent from Warner Village Cinemas, its existing joint venture with Warner Bros. Intl. Theaters.
Village will continue its partnership with Warner but plans to go it alone with around 10 multiplexes that Warner does not want to invest in.
Village originally intended to group these theaters under the Warner Village banner but has decided that its own brand is strong enough for an independent presence.
However, the partners are also continuing to sign new sites for Warner Village, with one just inked in Aberdeen and two more to be unveiled imminently.
The first multiplex to be fully financed by Village recently opened in Birkenhead, near Liverpool, and will now fly the Village banner. It will be followed by theaters in Belfast, Southport, Manchester, Newcastle-under-Lyme and Carlisle, among others.
Limit to expansion
Warner Village operates 28 multiplexes and has 12 more in various stages of development. Warner has stated that 40 sites will be the rough limit to its U.K. expansion.
Village already runs its own theaters in several European countries, including France, Greece, Poland, the Czech Republic and the German-speaking countries.